Now Jacomo (call him Jack, please. Yes, his parents
hate him, why do you ask?) was having a bit of a rough patch. He much prefers to pickpocket people on the street over breaking into people's flats and
them.... but well, needs must and all that.
The dotty old woman who lived in 221 Baker Street had lived there alone for years as far as he knew. Admittedly he hadn’t really spent much time in this part of town since he accidentally pickpocketed a copper but after years of living alone she wouldn’t suddenly take on tenants.
That and he happened to know (after having a nice long chat with her years ago) that despite her now-dead husband’s less than good behavior, he did (inadvertently) leave her a good bit of dosh after his death.
She would be fine if a few pieces of jewelry went missing.
Getting in the building was easy. Jack might not have done a lot of B&E but his father had been a locksmith and had taught his boy a few things before the death of his beloved Helen (Jack’s mother) had left him bereft of the will to even lift his head, let alone his arms. That’s when Jack had taken to pickpocketing... To pay the bills, y’see?
Anyway, the point being that despite the fact that he hadn’t really done much of the whole breaking into people’s homes gig, he knew how to pick a lock and had a nice set of tools his father had left him when he’d basically starved himself into organ failure.
( Oh poor boy, they’d said of Jacamo, too young to understand what was happening. But oh, he’d understood well enough, he had been a child not an idiot , but he’d only barely been able to manage food for one let alone the both of them.... Sometimes he likes to imagine that was the reason his father refused to eat, so Jack didn’t have to go without... He knows better though.)
The lock was easily picked and amazingly no one noticed him doing it.
Basement flat was completely empty and abandoned.
The ground level flat clearly belonged to the old woman but her jewelry wasn’t exactly the top shelf stuff and her china was all old and a bit chipped. Practical but nothing he’d get much for.
He almost didn’t bother with the upper stories, assuming them to be as abandoned as the basement, but something made him go up. Some niggle at the back of his mind. So he climbed the stairs and made his way to the small landing. Two doors and another flight of stairs up.
“I’ll take door number one, please,” he muttered to himself as he chose the door along the wall.
The kitchen was a tip.
Papers covered every inch of of available counter space but that was hardly the worst of it. Jack nearly gagged at the smell emanating from the room in front of him.
“Good God, it smells like something died in here,” he muttered, pinching his nose shut but he could still taste it in the air every time he breathed...
That should have been his first warning.
But Jacamo could pick a target by the clothing on their backs and judging by the jacket flung carelessly over the back of a chair, at least one of the people living here was loaded. It didn’t help that the amount of scientific equipment in the room probably cost a small fortune... Jacamo didn’t touch them though.
(In high school, he’d thought nicking some of the lab equipment from school would be a quick way to make a few quid... It was heavy but he managed it, even he got it off school grounds. But no one would buy it because those things were easily traceable through serial numbers and everyone who wanted one wanted the warranties and things that came with it.)
Jacamo had intended to skip over the kitchen entirely, really he had (this was clearly a bachelor pad and would most likely lack any sort of expensive fine china) but the two kettles sitting on the counter caught his eye.
One of them had Tea Only written on it which really made him wonder what could the other one be used for? He shouldn’t have looked, he really shouldn’t. But Jacamo had a tendency to let his curiosity get the better of him... So he pried off the lid of the other kettle.
It was filled with a dark, thick liquid of some kind but it wasn’t until he recognised the floating pinkish blobs as fingers that he let off a (very manly) squeal of surprise and dropped the kettle. Once the liquid covered the floor he recognised it as blood.
“Oh god,” he gasped backing away slightly and running into the opposite counter. A piercing beeeeep filled the air and he spun, bringing his hands up to protect his head. He relaxed when he realized it was just the microwave finishing. The microwave beeped a second time and he darted forward to push the button to open it because every time it made that noise it was giving him a sodding heart attack . He’d meant to open and close it quickly just to get it to stop making that bloody noise but when the door of the little appliance flew open sitting there... right in the middle of the little glass plate that all microwaves come with these days was a glass jar of eyes .
“Oh god. Oh god. Oh god,” he muttered to himself, backing away. His feet stumbled and he reached a hand out, grasping for anything that would keep him from falling. He grabbed hold of the refrigerator door handle and it opened with barely any resistance.
There was a head sitting on the shelf, right at eye level. Jacamo definitely didn’t scream. He emitted a loud, guttural noise (and he could definitely see how someone else might interpret it as such) but it definitely was not a scream. He scrambled away on all fours, leaving the fridge door hanging open and ran for the living room.
A skull on the mantel, a blood covered harpoon in the corner, pictures of dead and mangled people scattered all over the floor and bullet holes shot into a smiley face on the walls.
“Oh god,” he whimpered... it seemed his vocabulary had been reduced to those two words.
He fumbled with the lock on the second door but his hands were shaking and he couldn’t seem to remember how to work the mechanism. Jacamo froze when he heard laughter from the stairwell.
“I can’t believe you did that.”
“He wouldn’t have gotten hurt if he hadn’t fought back. I just needed to ask him some questions.”
More laughter, like it was some joke Jack just didn’t understand. Was one of them giggling?
“Damnit, Sherlock. Wipe your feet! You’re getting blood on the carpet.”
Jacamo suddenly remembered how to work a lock. He threw opened the door and bolted down the stairs past two men leaning against the wall in the entryway. Surprisingly they made no effort to stop him.
John watched the stranger dart away from them through the door.
“Who was that?” he asked, because Sherlock hadn’t looked the least bit surpirsed when he’d heard the thundering footsteps before the man had appeared.
“Hmm? Oh, a burglar.”
“Burglar?!” John snapped.
Before he could make a move to follow the other man, though Sherlock added languidly, “Oh don’t worry. He didn’t take anything. Come, John, I want tea.”
Later that night, John gets a text:
Do I want to know why we got a call insisting that the two men living in 221B Baker St. are serial killers? -GL